The Mother's Day Post
Navigating this Hallmark holiday with love and ease
Posted May 04, 2015
Mother’s Day is a big deal. If you doubt this then try making a brunch reservation for Sunday, May 10. For those trying to conceive, it can be a painful reminder of their childless status. For those celebrating their first Mother’s Day, navigating everyone’s expectations can be sticky. In this post, I will offer some coping techniques and pregtiquett for both situations. It’s also a lovely time to remember all of the “other” mothers who contribute to the well being of little ones.
If you are trying to get pregnant and dread mother’s day then a little CBT may be in order. Often times in the fertility journey we catastraphise. This means that we go to the worst case scenario, i.e., “I’m still not pregnant, it’s never going to happen”. Its time to reality check the facts. Most couples do get pregnant, for some it may take more time and effort. We explore that here. Think of all the positive ways your body functions and remember others who had a prolonged conception time but were ultimately blessed with a child. This will improve your mood. You can’t force a pregnancy, what you can do is maximize your happiness until you have a child. One way to do that is celebrate your mom or other maternal figures in your life. If nothing else, enjoy the mimosas at brunch while thinking: “This may be the last one for a while as I know I’ll be pregnant soon!”
You also have the right to opt out. If you go this route, be sure to do something pleasurable for yourself. Sitting at home sulking will most likely make you feel worse. Check in with yourself, what do you need? Is it a hike in nature, a home pedicure, breakfast in bed? Just because you’re not officially a mom doesn’t mean you don’t get to treat yourself well. Be sure to send your mom a card, though!
If this is your first mother’s day, congratulations! You may have visions of a cozy day with just your husband and baby. That is great, except your mother may have planned a huge family get together and your MIL may have made reservations at her favorite restaurant. I haven’t even mentioned your sister or SIL! Before you get to stressed, take a step back. It is true that you only get one “first” mother’s day, however, there is no need to cause a family feud over it. This does not mean you have to completely surrenderer your wishes, it simply means you can look for compromise. Hopefully, your relatives will feel the same way.
One tactic may be to celebrate a week earlier or later. This could apply to your personal celebration or to the larger family event. Another option is to have everyone at your home so you are not running around all day. Make it a pot luck or have it catered unless you truly want to do all of the cooking. Likewise, insist that your husband and the other male relatives do the set up and clean up as it is your holiday. Clear communication and listening are key to making everyone feel valued. Calmly state what would be most meaningful for you and explain that since it is your first mother’s day you would really appreciate everyone respecting that. Offer any offended parties alternatives.
Lastly, Mother’s Day is a wonderful time to honor all of the women who contribute to our children’s lives. Theses are the doting aunts, the tireless friends, the generous big sisters. Whether a woman is childless by choice or by circumstance, acknowledging her role in your child’s life is incredibly meaningful.